Brown Sugar Caramel Almonds
Serve these sweet, crisp nuts with fresh fruit and cheese. They’re super-simple to make, but it’s a job strictly for grown-ups: The sugar syrup gets very hot as it turns to caramel.
Makes about 2 cups
2 cups whole almonds
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Spread almonds out on baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes, checking often to be sure they don’t burn.
3. Transfer almonds to a large microwave-safe bowl. Spray the empty baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
4. Add sugar, water, cinnamon and salt to nuts in the bowl and stir until the mixture is evenly moistened.
5. Microwave on high for two and a half minutes. Stir then microwave for intervals of 30 seconds until sugar has turned a glossy caramel color and is bubbling thickly. It should form threads when you lift the fork or spoon from the mixture. (Be very careful as caramel is superhot!)
6. Scrape nuts onto prepared baking sheet, spreading out as much as possible. Let cool completely, then break up any clumps.
7. Store in airtight container.
Hint: to clean bowl, let it cool, then fill with warm water and let stand until caramel dissolves.
Susan Herr is a recipe developer, editor and food stylist who has worked for both national publications and commercial clients.